Only a few years ago the MP3 player market was
crowded with a bunch of very tiny players, eventually getting so small that
all the MP3 consisted of were a few buttons, a headphone jack and
a barely legible black and white LCD screen. While these MP3 players may be ideal joggers, the
rest of us have moved on to a more robust MP3 players that display video
in full colour, text, and even offer up a few simple games. Welcome to the Portable Media Player, the evolution of the now ubiquitous MP3 player.
Electronics giant Samsung has just introduced a new 8GB touch screen sensitive
video MP3 player called the Samsung YP-P3. As you might expect, it's practically bursting at the seams with features, chief amongst these
being a large, bright 3" colour LED display that has a swanky new touch screen interface, the kind popularized by a certain competitor's iProduct.
Depending on which model you get, the YP-P3 can have 4GB,
8GB, 16GB or 32GB of internal memory. PCSTATS will be testing the 8GB YP-P3JCB version,
which is good for 2000 MP3 songs or about 8 or 9 full length movies.
Since the point
of a portable media player is to be an all-in-one device for listening to
music and watching movies, support for different file types and bit rates
is important. Through the use of its EmoDio software, the
8GB Samsung YP-P3 is able to handle MP3, OGG, FLAC, AAC, and
WAV music formats.. Compressed audio formats can be played back at bit rates
as high as 320 kbps, and combined with support for lossless audio codecs
means that even audiophiles won't have to turn up their noses too much at the Samsung YP-P3.
Video compatibility is similarly comprehensive, with support for WMV, H.264,
MPEG and AVI files. Samsung's EmoDio software will convert all video files into
.SVI files, which can have variable bit rates ranging from 700 to 2000 kbps, up
to 30 frames per second.
|| Samsung YP-P3-JCB/XAC
Portable Media Player
Headphones, USB Cable,
quick start guide
It's 3" LCD screen can pull double duty as a picture viewer, ideal for say
sharing baby pics or whatnot. The most common image formats are
supported here; JPEG, bitmap, and PNGs, any of which can be converted into
a desktop background. There's even a flash player, with limited support for
certain types of .SWF files.
Aside from its versatile media playback, handsome slim
metal form factor and broad range of compatibility, the 8GB Samsung YP-P3 packs
in wide range of ancillary features as well - Bluetooth support, an
FM radio, up to 152hrs of voice recording, text to speech reader, a
built-in podcast RSS syncing service, and flash support are all built into it.
There is also an alarm clock, address book, calculator, a basic subway map for major cities
around the world (we checked the New York, Toronto and Taipei maps and found them
to be accurate) and a few basic games to keep you occupied.
of this is packed into a unit measuring 53 x 102 x 9mm
in size. The Samsung YP-P3JCB is compatible with Windows Vista / XP and retails for $140 CDN ($110 USD, £80 GBP) for the 8GB
model. The internal Li-Polymer battery life is rated at 30hours for audio,
5 hours for video. Charging time is approximately 3hrs via a USB cable power
source (it must be connected to a PC to charge).
Form and Function
As a contrast to the traditional miniature MP3 player, the average Portable
Media Player (PMPs) takes most of its design cues from the cellular phone. The
Samsung YP-P3 is no exception, bearing a very strong resemblance to Samsung's
Instinct smartphone, which also has a big screen and a similarly swanky
touchscreen. A built in 0.8W speaker even allows you to listen to music or a
video without headphones, it comes in handy when showing a group of friends a
video, or that new favourite song.
The outer shell of the Samsung
YP-P3 is made out of anodized aluminum, and the entire body feels nicely light
(it weighs 96g), but satisfyingly sturdy. While we haven't tested our review
unit with anything more than a few accidental drops onto the carpet, it does
feel built to last.
The first thing you'll notice as you pull this PMP out of the box is that the front of the
Samsung YP-P3 is dominated by a 3" 480
x 272 resolution WQVGA colour LCD display. This functions as
the main display for the unit as well as its main input source.
The YP-P3's screen is very crisp and clear. While squeezing text on to a small phone-sized display can often
lead to blurry, hard-to-read user interface, Samsung has packed a
lot of pixels into the three inch screen which keeps things legible. While the screen
is nicely scratch resistant (it can survive being in your jacket pocket along
with a set of keys), it's also unfortunately prone to smudging, and every
single greasy fingerprint from your touch gestures will show up when the screen
The screen can be adjusted through 10 levels of brightness, and at its maximum remains clearly visible in everything but
direct sunlight, so it's pretty easy to use the YP-P3 outdoors.
Video playback features and functionality come next....